The Haverford Area YMCA
(At Former Bubble Gum Factory Site)
Construction of the new Haverford Area YMCA on Eagle Road (at the old Bubble Gum Factory site) is in full swing. According to YMCA officials, the following is the status as of February 2013:
- Interior work in the new pool area, gymnasium, wellness center and upper floors is ongoing with significant work occurring in the next few months.
- Exterior roofing is near completion and the building is expected to be completely covered by the end of March.
The grounds, which include the parking lot, will begin late spring.
- Storm water management for the property is 90% completed with scheduled completion in late spring.
- Construction on Eagle Road, which includes the new intersection off of Hillcrest Road, will begin in April and will continue for up to 10 weeks. To accommodate traffic most of the work will be done at night, after peak hours.
- Overall construction is moving along rapidly with an expected opening of October 2013.
Below are photographs of the construction:
YMCA - Natatorium
YMCA - Digging the Family Pool
YMCA - Lobby Roof
YMCA - Indoor Track
History of the YMCA/Bubble Gum Factory Site
By way of history, on November 10, 2011, the Township Planning Commission approved the preliminary land development plans for the new Haverford YMCA, to be built at the site of the former bubble gum factory on Eagle Road. The YMCA will feature two swimming pools: a 25 yard, 6-8 lane competitive lap pool, and a recreation pool with zero-depth entry to accommodate enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. The new facility will also include a whirlpool, steam room and sauna.
There will also be multi-purpose rooms to accommodate community groups and programs for preschool-aged children, youths, teens and adults, including Child Watch babysitting services for members. The Health and Wellness Center will house various types of modern fitness equipment; a double gym will provide space for basketball and athletic programs, and will be encircled by a track for walking, jogging and running.
YMCA Traffic Issues
The Y has discussed its plans to address the traffic the facility will generate. In particular, the Y intends to install a traffic signal at Hillcrest Avenue, and is hoping to widen and upgrade the intersections of Eagle and Lawrence Road and Eagle and Darby Road to alleviate some of the anticipated traffic. I have voiced concerns -- which have been expressed to me by numerous residents -- about the impact of traffic leaving the facility and traveling across Eagle Road directly onto Hillcrest and into the Paddock Farms and other nearby neighborhoods. Because the Y did not address this concern sufficiently to me in its materials, I urged the Planning Commission to take action to address the residents' concerns and to do whatever possible to prevent further traffic into the residential neighborhoods.
As a result of my comments, the Planning Commission is requiring the Y (as a condition of approval) to conduct a traffic study showing the current patterns of traffic on the streets in that area (essentially the area bordered by Ellis Road, Darby Road, Lawrence Road, Hillcrest Avenue and adjacent streets), to conduct a study 6 months after the facility is open -- and to compare the results. The Y will then be required to report to the Township its findings and to either remediate any additional traffic or make recommendations to the Township for how to do so. This is essentially the same requirement the Planning Commission imposed on the developers of the Quarry Shopping Center on Township Line Road to address the concerns of residents in that neighborhood. I will continue to monitor the situation and to do what I can to keep non-residential traffic off of residential streets.
Click here to read the lease agreement.